Am I a Bigot?
The guy in the t-shirt promoting abortion, the sexual revolution, social victimization, and open borders said that I was a misogynist, legalist, and racial bigot because I did not agree with his t-shirt. Am I?
Honestly, I felt the arrow. Maybe I harbor hidden bias. Perhaps I don’t love the world as Jesus does. Then I remembered some verses from the apostle John that give perspective.
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. — 1 John 3:18-19 (ESV)
Our own hearts are not infallible in evaluating our standing in righteousness. God is greater than our hearts. He knows everything. His verdict is the one that matters. (Now, there is a t-shirt for Christians: God’s verdict matters.)
What Does Love Look Like?
What does it mean to love the world? Well, we know God does. What does his love look like?
First, he didn’t allow the world to define love or what was needed. He looked beyond the deceptive thoughts of people bound in sin, and blind to true beauty, and gave the only gift that would free us and restore the glory of humans. He gave to meet the needs we had misidentified, so we could enjoy a greater liberty than we could imagine.
Second, he gave himself at great cost. It wasn’t just a theory he was promoting. He didn’t give a new ideology or fresh idea on how to structure society. He came into our dilemma and accepted the eternal consequences of our condition so that we could enter his condition as righteous before God.
Third, he loved us as people. Each of us has a unique story of need, though we share a common alienation from God because of sin. Jesus doesn’t deal with us as a subset of society classified by our ethnicity, sex, or social standing. He loves persons!
Someone asked me if my biblical worldview prevented my loving the LGBTQ community. Instead, it compels me to love the people who may identify or be classified by those letters.
I know and love many people who have been classified in this subset — and I am eager and willing to love many more. I am just not sure what loving a subset of society means. In order to prove my love, do I have to agree with the particular agenda of that subset? It would be anything but authentic love to promote what I believe is destructive. If Jesus had loved like that, he would have abandoned us to our own wishes, consigning us to the misery of self-delusion forever. I can respect their right to believe without affirming their belief to be right.
Jesus’ love was expressed in that while we were yet bound in deception and ignorant of our desperate condition, he did what was necessary to set us free. (See Romans 5:8.) Love is costly, and it expresses itself in actions. It cares more for the condition of another than for our own comfort and ease. (See 1 Corinthians 13.)
If I listen to the angry voices telling me who I am, I will either shrink from being real, or I will strike back and lose my sense of peace. Either way, I will be weak and cowardly. Confidence comes from knowing God’s verdict and accepting it as final. That frees me to see any person as created in the image of God, valuable and worth loving. It also releases me to hear God, my Father when he lovingly tells me that I have hidden bias he wants to eliminate. I like being loved like that, and I want that for everyone.